Home » Nature Study » Nature Study: Ponderosa Pines

Nature Study: Ponderosa Pines

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When we first looked at this house, my husband and I fell in love with the trees. Most of the living areas are on the 2nd floor so when you look out the windows it looks like you are sitting in a tree house. We have mostly Ponderosa pines (Pinus Ponderosa) around our house.

Why I {Heart} Ponderosas

1. Ponderosas can live to be hundreds of years old

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“Century-old stumps of trees that were 400 to 500 years old when cut remain like ghosts amid stands of trees that have established during the last 100 years…  Trees between 300 and 500 years old are frequent, and trees more than 200 years old are common throughout the Front Range above about 6500 ft (2000 m) elevation.”

– Field Guide to Old Ponderosa Pines in the Colorado Front Range, by L. Huckaby, M. Kaufmann, P. Fornwalt, J. Stoker, C. Dennis

2. They are determined to survive. Centuries old trees have smooth, orange bark and many show fire and lightning scars. They are also drought-resistant which is great in our dry climate.

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3. You can make a puzzle out of the bark. The 3-5 inch pieces of bark pieces make a brown puzzle that circles the entire length of the tree.

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4. They attract really cute squirrels. The wonderful Abert’s squirrel feeds exclusively on pine nuts from the Ponderosa. They have cute bunny ears and black fur. We call them Ninja squirrels because they are very fast and their dark color makes them quite stealthy. This one was very shy and I had to run all over the yard to snap a shot.

Time to Trim

The foothills of the Rockies can be dangerous in late summer as wildfires spread quickly though the area. It is important where we live to create a defensible space around your home so firefighters can protect it if needed. Today, my handsome mountain man got outside to trim the dead lower limbs on our trees. Hopefully the trees will recover quickly from their surgery today.

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2 thoughts on “Nature Study: Ponderosa Pines

  1. Pingback: Wildlife All Around | Bright Hope for Tomorrow

  2. Pingback: Nature Study: Pine Cones | Bright Hope for Tomorrow

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